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President Obama states commitment to end HIV travel ban; CDC issues federal notice proposing removal of HIV as a “communicable disease of public health significance”

In a speech at a reception in honor of LGBT Pride Month, President Obama stated that his “administration is committed to rescinding the discriminatory ban on entry to the United States based on HIV status.” Following, the CDC issued a federal notice proposing that HIV be removed from the list of communicable diseases that would prevent entry of foreign individuals into the United States, which will now be considered for public comment.

Remarks by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on U.S. global health policy before the 2009 HIV/AIDS Implementers’ Meeting

Secretary Clinton discussed U.S. global health policy under the new Administration, including President Obama’s Global Health Initiative, during videotaped remarks for the 2009 HIV/AIDS Implementers’ Meeting.

H.R. 2639 – Global Poverty Act of 2009

The proposed bill directs the President to develop and implement a strategy to reduce global poverty and achieve the Millennium Development Goals. Among other things, the bill requires that the strategy include measurable goals, benchmarks, and timelines, and that it build upon, leverage, and better coordinate existing efforts to address issues relevant to global poverty such as HIV/AIDS, malaria, TB, water, and hunger. Finally, the bill requires the President to report back to Congress regularly on the progress of the strategy.

Senator John Kerry discusses U.S. Diplomacy and Development

In a speech at the Brookings Institution titled “Diplomacy and Development in the 21st Century: A Conversation with Senator John Kerry,” Senator Kerry summarized his views on the current state of U.S. diplomatic and development institutions and suggested a number of reforms that would “strengthen our civilian institutions to adequately address the challenges of the 21st century.” Some of these reforms include:

- Increasing resources, personnel and training;

- Improving coordination of U.S. foreign assistance programs;

- Clarifying the policies and goals of U.S. foreign assistance;

- Reauthorizing the Foreign Assistance Act; and

- Rebalancing the decision-making process between Washington and the field.

Senator Kerry also announced that he would be “introducing two pieces of legislation: a Foreign Affairs Authorization Act that will authorize the State Department and related accounts, and an initial foreign aid reform bill.”

Acting Deputy U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator testifies on the FY 2010 budget request for PEPFAR

Tom Walsh, Acting Deputy U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator (OGAC) and Chief of Staff, testified before the House Appropriations Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs to discuss the FY 2010 budget request for the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR).

Secretary of HHS Sebelius addresses World Health Assembly

Secretary of Health and Human Services, Kathleen Sebelius, addressed the Plenary Session of the World Health Assembly in Geneva, Switzerland. In her comments, Secretary Sebelius dicussed the international response to the recent outbreak of the H1N1 virus. Secretary Sebelius also discussed President Obama’s new Global Health Initiative stating that “our world demands a new, integrated approach to public health – one that seeks to understand and target the many factors that that can threaten the lives and livelihoods of all our citizens.”

President Obama announces new $63 billion Global Health Initiative

President Obama announced a new Global Health Initiative and his request of Congress to approve $8.6 billion in FY 2010 and $63 billion over six years to support this effort. The President stated that the initiative will continue to support and build upon efforts to address AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis initiated by the previous administration, but it will also “do more to improve health systems around the world, focus our efforts on child and maternal health, and ensure that best practices drive the funding for these programs.”